German Postwar Visual History in a European Framework
Within the interdisciplinary field of German Studies, visual culture constitutes an important and increasing field of teaching and research especially when confronted with the exploration of German society and culture from abroad. On the one hand, photographs, cinema and television fundamentally shape the perception of the country and its people and thus provide a source for its imaginary perception especially for those looking from a distant perspective. Thus, iconic news photographs or historic images from German history can serve as visual substitutes for personal experiences. On the other hand, certain cultural codes are often communicated through audiovisual media or visual imagery that effectively shape collective historical consciousness as well as the perception and understanding of present conflicts and political challenges. Therefore the examination of images that circulate through films, television, media, books, and exhibitions is a crucial aspect of studying contemporary Germany and its postwar history, especially from a non-German, in our case Israeli, perspective. In 2016/17 the CGS Group Research on German Postwar Visual History focusses on "Mobile Frames, Migrating Images, Dynamic Archives - Historical Resonances in German and European Visual Culture and Memory."
Terrorism and Political Violence in Public Memory and Visual Culture
The research intends to delineate resonances of violence in public memory and visual culture, which interrelate different forms of protest and political violence. It intends to describe, mainly within a European, German and Israeli framework, repeating reference and memory frames that create such resonating correlation between radical left, far right and Islamist terrorism.
Docudrama became ubiquitous in television cultures throughout Western Europe during the latter part of the twentieth century, and following the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 it began to manifest itself in Eastern Europe too. Now, in the early twenty-first century, it has established a respectability – indeed, a centrality – within the hybrid spectrum of fact/fiction television practices that would have been unthinkable previously. This project conducted with Derek Paget (University of Reading) and other colleagues from European universities seeks to explain why this genre has become so important in selected modern European contexts. As a first publication Docudrama on European Television: a Selective Survey (Palgrave 2016) offers case studies from Germany, Poland, Spain, France, Italy and Sweden.
Traveling Memories: European Memory, the Holocaust, and Cinema
The proposed research project is situated in an interdisciplinary field of memory studies and transnational cinema studies. Its broader context is the “Europeanization of memory”. Contemporary political and historical discourses about European identity and memory tend to tie unified Europe to the lessons of its catastrophic 20th century history. Therefore the research study’s aim is to analyze current European and Israeli films dealing with the Holocaust in a transnational perspective, which were produced to address broader national as well as transnational audiences, regarding their narrative structure, visible iconography, intertextual references. Furthermore transnational aesthetics, production and reception contexts will be taken into account. Thereby the study is interlinking cinema, media and memory studies in transnational comparison and providing a transnational case study about audiovisual media’s influence on depicting, perceiving and processing the past.
German-Israeli Encounters in Film and Television
The relations between Israelis and Germans have been formed and transformed through various encounters in various spheres. These encounters have occurred before, alongside and, at times, despite the diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany. This research intends to review various attempts to envision such encounters in film and television productions made in the Land of Israel and in Germany from the 1930s to the present and to highlight the vital roles of German-Israeli co-productions in the constitution of the visual imagery of these encounters. This ongoing research informed my recent German publication "Übergänge – Passagen durch eine deutsch-israelische Filmgeschichte" (Berlin 2014)